Mercedes-AMG GT evokes the spirit of the Hammer

Back in 1967, AMG Motorenbau und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH was established as an engineering company that specialised in making motorsport engines and later, creating faster and more bonkers Mercedes-Benz racing and road-going cars.

In 1993 AMG products began being sold within Mercedes-Benz dealerships before DaimlerChrysler bought controlling stake in the company in 1999, leading us to the 21st century where the Mercedes-AMG brand has become synonymous with performance and indeed for its epic rivalry with BMW’s M Division, Porsche and the products from Audi Sport, among others.

I recently spent a week with the ludicrous Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4Matic+, the third car to be solely developed by the team in Affalterbach after the SLS and two-door GT models.

A GT four-door?

The four-door GT is a polarising car for me. You see, an E63 S exists, which is lighter, but less powerful and essentially provides the same sort of experience for R1-million less and is built on a similar platform. However, the GT is something to behold, it genuinely looks like nothing else on the road. It’s a four-door hatchback with a silhouette of a massive coupe, a true V8 2+2 saloon, in 2020, which is admirably insane. By 2+2 I mean four seats, you see, in place of a rear bench are two individual seats, with a console separating them which includes two USB ports and a wireless charger.

The GT is also a lot more than an E-Class draped in an AMG suit, it’s a proper overhaul by AMG, with sharper handling, better braking and more bespoke feel to its build and finishes. You do pay for this, with my press unit coming in at a gobsmacking R3.3-million. This GT isn’t alone in offering an uber-premium performance saloon package either, there’s the Porsche Panamera Turbo S e-Hybrid as well as the upcoming BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe

Driving GT 

There isn’t much that I’ve driven over the past 8 years in this industry that has garnered more attention. It’s easy to see why, the car is massive, painted matte grey, had 22-inch alloy wheels and sounds like an approaching Messerschmitt Bf 109. The problem is that it doesn’t feel quite as potent as the E63 S, no doubt a result of the GT coming in at around 200kg heavier. Still, there’s 470kW/900Nm to make use of, which, with a four-wheel-drive system allows for ballistic acceleration. The 4Matic+ system is just as impressive as in the E63 S, with variable torque and power split between the front and rear, as the car sees fit, which makes for a rather agile limousine.

The 0-100km/h sprint is dealt with in a claimed 3.2 seconds and the top speed is pegged at 315km/h in a car that feels exceptionally civilised and dignified. The nine-speed automatic gearbox contributes to the driving experience with its fast, seamless shift. The unit isn’t a dual-clutch nor does it use a torque converter, but rather a single clutch, bathed in oil which has a double de-clutching system, very clever. When you’re not in the mood to obliterate the petrol in the tank, the GT simmers down and becomes an accomplished open road cruising machine, with enough torque to make overtaking almost telepathic. The GT is truly a wonderful large performance car package for those with the means to afford its exorbitant price tag.


The GT four-door is a rather incredible piece of kit and one that will certainly not be forgotten by this scribe any time soon. In an era of downsizing, electrification and a generally gloomy outlook on internal combustion engines and performance cars, the GT is a wonderful reprieve from it all, a homage of sorts to the likes of ‘the Hammer’ from the 80s. Long live the big, V8-powered AMG.


Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4Matic+ 4-Door Coupe R 2 966 331



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